Increasing number of overseas NGOs shows China’s openness: observer

By Li Qiao Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/15 20:48:40

The Beijing Municipality Public Security Bureau's NGO management office gives certificates of registration to overseas NGOs in 2017. Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Municipality Public Security Bureau 

The number of registered overseas NGOs in the Chinese mainland increased in 2019, which experts said demonstrated China's openness to more overseas NGOs which operate legally.

A total of 511 representative offices of overseas nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have registered in accordance with the law in the Chinese mainland by 2019, according to a post by Administration Office of Overseas NGOs under China's Ministry of Public Security on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.

A total of 126 of them are from the US, which ranked at the top. Germany, Japan and South Korea are also among the countries with the most NGO offices in China. Among the 511, 160 were registered in Beijing and 102 in Shanghai. Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has one overseas NGO representative office.

They mainly registered with governmental departments of commerce, education, civil affairs, health and civil organizations.

The top five sectors which overseas NGOs are active cover economy, education, poverty, disaster relief, and health and environmental protection.

An average of 14 overseas NGO representative offices were registered each month since 2017, with the highest number being recorded in May 2017 when 47 offices were registered.

Li Haidong, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times on Wednesday the data shows China accepts, respects and welcomes overseas NGOs. It is admitted that NGOs play an important role filling social gaps and promoting cultural communication.

China enacted the Law on the Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations in the Chinese Mainland on January 1, 2017.

Human Rights Watch and four other American NGOs sanctioned by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs tried to abet anti-China rioters in Hong Kong to engage in extreme violence and political incitement, which violated China's sovereignty, Hua Chunying, spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press conference on December 2, 2019.

They violated both the law and the nongovernmental principle of being an NGO, Li said, noting that any country would sanction organizations which carry out illegal activities.

However, some Western media are biased and make use of the restricted illegal American NGOs to smear China by claiming it bans overseas NGOs. This fits into the mainstream Western world's long-held biased stereotype against China's democracy, he said.

Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, said he was denied entry to Hong Kong on Sunday, CNN reported.

Human Rights Watch usually attacks China's ethnic policies, foments anti-China sentiment and smears China's democracy in the name of human rights without solid evidence, Li said.

Li said Human Rights Watch has to introspect what they did in Hong Kong and figure out if it is promoting the restoration of social order or intensifying social contradictions. NGOs should not engage in illegal political activities, he said.


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